Kansas Trans People Suing State For Right To Change Birth Certificates

Luc Bensimon is one of four transgender individuals suing Kansas officials over the state's refusal to to allow them to change the sex listed on their birth certificates.

Kansas is one of three states  (Ohio and Tennessee are the other two) that obstinately refuse to allow trans people born there  to change their birth certificates under any circumstances. 

It’s BS, so four Kansas trans residents filed a federal lawsuit on October 15 to change that unjust policy.   I was happy to discover but not surprised to find out that two of the four people suing are my Kansas based BTAC fam in Luc Bensimon and Nyla Foster

The lawsuit argues that the Kansas policy violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution.   It’s also arguing that the policy violates the plaintiff’s free speech rights.

The other plaintiffs in the suit are a transperson person identified as C.K., Jessica Hicklin, and the Kansas Statewide Education project (K-STEP)

The defendants are Jeff Anderson, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment; Elizabeth W. Saadi, the Kansas state registrar; and Kay Haug, director of the state’s vital statistics office, a unit of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Bensimon said the state’s unjust policy made it easier for people to discriminate against him, “on top of the discrimination I already confront based on my disability.”

“I’m here to seek justice,” said Nyla Foster, a transgender woman and one of the plaintiffs. “My birth certificate does not reflect the gender I identify as, and I’m here to correct it so I can move forward with my life.”|

At a press conference in front of the federal courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas, Lambda legal attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan explained why it was challenging the state’s transphobic documentation stance.

Image result for lambda legalImage result for omar gonzalez pagan

“A birth certificate is more than a piece of paper.It’s the quintessential identity document that follows a person from birth to death.  It must reflect a person’s identity.”

Gonzales-Pagan also pointed out that birth certificates can determine access to education, employment, healthcare, travel and impact the ability to obtain other identity documents.

Good luck to you in overturning this unjust policy.  Thanks Lambda Legal for having our backs again.

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